I realise I haven’t blogged for a while, I’ve been mega busy and the problem is that I now have a list of things to blog. But I thought I’d begin with the wedding of my lovely friend Alex Grace in Tenby a few weeks ago. The background to the wedding is important to appreciate why it was so beautiful, so to give you some of that, here’s an article that appeared in the Western Mail a few days after the wedding:
I hope you can read that. Both Andrew and Alex are wonderful people. I met Alex at theological college in Cardiff in my first year of training, where she was a single mum of two beautiful girls. Although she was happy on her own, she wanted a secure set up for her family. At the end of her training she got her dream curacy in Tenby, joining a team with a rector and team vicar. Over the next few months it was clear that she got on really well with her rector, and they eventually revealed that they were in love and were getting married. Although we were all very surprised, we were thrilled to bits, and when we met Andrew we could see how happy he made Alex. The wedding has been the highlight of the year in Tenby and has been an event that all her friends have been eagerly looking forward to.
Steve and I travelled down the night before and managed to get a sneak peak of the church before everyone else in the morning. It looked beautiful with bunting between the pillars and in the choir stalls, and gorgeous flowers around. Steve got a bit excited about the bunting and decided to see if his Bunting would go with the rest.
Alex and Andrew had decided to celebrate communion within the wedding service. Weddings I’ve been to that have done this have had varying success. In this instance, with a lot of not only Christians, but church members attending, it worked really well as everyone came to receive, and myself and my friend Miriam sang worship songs while people were going forward. With multiple stations it didn’t even take that long. They explained their decision by saying that they wanted to share their first meal together, the Eucharist, with their church family. The thought was clearly appreciated and managed to include all the guests at the wedding.
One of the things that clergy couples have to consider when planning a wedding is that congregations need to be included in the celebration and the practicalities and costs of doing that need careful thought. This is a problem that Steve and I are still thinking about for our own wedding. Alex and Andrew had the brilliant idea of not having an evening do, but having the entire celebration in the grounds of the church after the wedding. The food was a pretty hefty buffet that stretched out to a few hundred people, with a lot left over. Fortunately the weather held off during the day and we were able to enjoy our time out on the lawn, with yummy buffet food and pimms!
After all the food had been eaten we went back into the church for the speeches, cutting the cake and photos. The celebrations finished in the late afternoon so the bride and groom could go out for a meal with their close family, although how they had any room I have no idea.
The day was just brilliant and I wouldn’t have done anything differently. Alex and Andrew managed to make it a day that their whole community could be a part of, but also that their friends and family enjoyed. It’s a difficult balance to get but they did it perfectly. It helped that the church in Tenby is such a beautiful building, and that their church community were so excited for them and did all they could to help. Now that we’re getting into the wedding season I’m looking forward to going to more weddings to see what tips I can pick up for my own.